Sites to See in JiuZhaiGou (九寨溝) County

JiuZhaiGou (九寨溝) county, also known as “Nine Village Valley”, is populated with Tibetan villages and really amazing backdrops. Here are a few places in JiuZhaiGou County that worth visiting:

JiuZhaiGou (九寨溝)

It was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992 and has been under heavy preservation by the Chinese government. The majority of tourists are domestic Chinese travelers, which averaged 7,000 a day in 2004 (Wikipedia). Be prepared to spend a hefty penny for entrance and food – it’s Disneyland park prices without the Disney flare and the rides, but the views are pretty amazing.

Our visit in April combined with high elevation made for weather that was just right for a little snowfall

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Chengdu, The Land of Milk and Honey

Over the past decade, I’ve travelled multiple times to China visiting Beijing, Shanghai, and Nanjing, and so far Chengdu has been my favorite. Chengdu (成都), located in Sichuan Province (四川), sits in the Red Basin and is historically known for its agricultural wealth having constant access to water from the surrounding mountains. The city is sometimes referred as the “Land of Milk and Honey” and it holds true even as a traveler (Random plug). So many beautiful areas to see in the surrounding areas that a schedule can easily be packed for 1.5-2 weeks.  Continue reading

Taiwan, a beautiful place and a 2nd home, temporary goodbye

Taiwan is a place that’s captured the many hearts of locals and traveler’s alike. It was rated as one of the best backpacking locations in the world – home to many outdoor activities, amazing food, and affordable accommodations. That is what initially attracted me and I have grown to love the country and consider it a 2nd home.

A compilation of photos that summarize my trip (no where near representative of the entire trip):

View of Taipei 101 from Elephant Mountain

Sunflower Movement

Delicious fresh baked bread – anywhere and everywhere!

Bike riding around Kenting

Outdoor Rock Climbing at YangMingShan

Bitter melon flowers

Beautiful views in the middle of Taipei city

River tracing in Wulai

Language exchange

Acquainted Fate


“Fate will bring two people together no matter how far apart. However, no acquaintance can be made without the opportunity to meet.”

Came across this saying from a new acquaintance and really liked it…Still trying to figure out a better interpretation in English. Any recommendations, leave a comment below!


One of distinguishing points making Taiwan such a great place for backpackers and travelers are the welcoming locals. I found that the further south I travelled, the more this resonated (this not to say that people from Taipei aren’t friendly 😉 )

I feel like there is constant aura of curiosity – from 7-Eleven attendants to newly acquainted hikers. People ask questions, not to be judgmental, but simply out of curiosity. Many have been far too generous (if its possible) offering food and wishing well for my future endeavors despite having such a short conversation exchange (see Acts of Kindness). Such a warm welcome has been humbling, and I am grateful to know that a culture like this exists.

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JunJian Trail – near Yangmingshan

A language partner suggested this quick hike (JunJian 軍艦岩親山步道) near where I was living. The name literally means Rocky Warship Trail, perhaps because of the eroded rock formations near the top. The trailhead is easily accessible from the Shipai 石牌 Redline MRT station, and there there are plenty of signs from the MRT stop.

It wasn’t until a few days after I found out that my grandma had hiked up this trail everyday to stay fit. It’s accessibility with the surrounding area makes this a great convenient hike. I saw a few mountain bikes at the top as well.

Time:  45 minutes to 1 hour

Does this look like a warship?!

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